Whatâs the price for a cup of coffÃ© in Lindellhallen? And what is the sculpture by the campus pond representing? Those questions were the 500 international students challenged to answer during the Campus race on Wednesday afternoon.
â Oh no! The people we are following are splitting up! What should we do? I think we just follow the biggest group, says Renske Wienen, from the Netherlands, to the other four team members with different nationalities, as they head up towards Iksu.
Itâs the first day of the Orientation, a course arranged for the 500 international students in order to make them become acquainted to UmeÃ¥ and the university. The Orientation consists of both lectures and activities, and right now the students are in the middle of the Campus race.
After being divided into groups of around six students, theyâve received a map over campus and a sheet of paper with questions theyâre going to answer on different places. But according to Renske, there are some problems.
â The map is not up to date, so we are just following people using Google Maps, she says.
Isnât it cheating to use Google Maps?
â Yeah definitely, thatâs why we should win, because we donât. In this way weâre just following the crowd and by accident winning, she says and laughs.
Renske will take her master degree in cognitive science in Sweden, so she will stay here for two whole years. For that reason, she arrived to UmeÃ¥ a month ago in order to move in. She tells that the education system and Swedenâs mindset when it comes to HBTQ-people are two things she likes about the country.
â I feel like the Netherlands is now taking steps to try to become Sweden. I can stay there and wait, but I can also just move to Sweden, she says.
Hector Moustakis has travelled from Greece to study at UmeÃ¥ University. Apart from most of the international students who stay for one semester or two, he will stay for three years. During his time in UmeÃ¥ he will study on the Bachelor of Science programme in Life Science.
Like the majority of the international students, he has applied to the buddy programme, which starts on Tuesday next week.
â Itâs because I want to know more about the university and the city. I would like to socialize more because Iâm not one of the most sociable people in the world. And I would like to meet more people and make new friends so I can feel more comfortable here in UmeÃ¥. I have already found some greeks here, and that made me feel much more comfortable. One of them works on the university.
In another group of students is Hanna Waeggemann from Germany.
â I heard about the Swedish educational system, and that it should be one of the best in the world. So thatâs why I chose Sweden. And I also have to admit that I love the weather. Cold and crisp and finally some winter with snow. Also, I love fish, so letâs hope thereâs some good food here, she says.
After a while Renske, Hector and the other students in their group have answered several questions. A tricky one appeared to be what kind of symbolâs in Skogisâ logotype? Soon they reach an even more challanging question. What is the sculpture beside the campus pond representing? Using Google Translate to interpret the name on the sign seems to be a bad idea. When the group translate âNorra skenetâ, the application gives the answer ânorthen skierâ.
Confused they look up at the sculpture.
â Do you want to know what it is? I ask them, and as I give them the answer, they look up at the sculpture again. Almost as questioning as before.
â I think thatâs just as probable as a northern skier, to be honest. I donât see any of them in it, says Renske.
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